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High Heat (Novel)


High Heat is Richard Castle's eighth Nikki Heat book, published in October 2016.


An ISIS-style beheading of a journalist, carried out by a New York City group pledging fealty to that rogue state, becomes more than just another case for NYPD Captain Nikki Heat when the killers announce their next target: her husband, magazine writer Jameson Rook. Meanwhile, Heat is haunted by a fleeting glimpse of someone she swears is her mother... a woman who has been dead for nearly twenty years.

Basic Details[edit]

  • Author: Richard Castle
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Chapters: 34
  • Publisher: Kingswell (ABC)
  • Release Date: Published on Oct 25, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1-4847-8150-0
  • The acknowledgements section at the end of the book is omitted from this installment due to it being fourteen chapters longer than the previous seven books before it.


  • To K.B. For always and more.

Major Characters[edit]

  • Nikki Heat - Captain of the 20th Precinct, a tough and intelligent Homicide Detective who drove her career towards the NYPD in order to find her mother's killer. She is modeled after Kate Beckett.
  • Jameson Rook - Heat's fiancé and a world-renowned journalist with First Press magazine who met Nikki when he was assigned to shadow the 20th precinct for an assignment on NYPD Detectives. He is modeled after Richard Castle.
  • Detective Miguel Ochoa - a member of the 20th precinct's Homicide Division working with Nikki. He is modeled after Javier Esposito.
  • Detective Sean Raley - a member of the 20th precinct's Homicide Division and Detective Ochoa's partner. He is modeled after Kevin Ryan. He is known as the King of All Media Surveillance for his talent at noticing case-breaking details in hours of boring surveillance video.
  • Lauren Parry - a Medical Examiner and Nikki's best friend who maintains a warm outlook despite her chosen profession. She is modeled after Lanie Parish.
  • Margaret Rook - an actress past her prime known as the "Grand Damn of Broadway" who lives with Rook in his Tribeca loft. She is modeled after Martha Rodgers.

Secondary Characters[edit]

  • Detective Randall Feller: a reliable member of Nikki's squad who transferred from the Taxi Unit.
  • Detective Dan Rhymer: a former burglary cop whose nickname is "Opie" because of his Southern accent.
  • Detective Inez Aguinaldo: a recent transfer to the 20th Precinct who previously worked with the Southampton Village Police Department in the Hamptons.
  • Zack "The Hammer" Hamner: an arrogant special assistant to the NYPD deputy commissioner for legal affairs.
  • Legs Klein: a Texan billionaire and third-party presidential candidate.
  • Lana Klein: Legs Klein's daughter and public relations chief who flirts with Rook every chance she gets.
  • Lindsy Gardner: Klein's understated rival in the presidential race.
  • Muharib Qawi: the liberal imam of Manhattan's Masjid al-Jannah mosque where the jihadist execution video was filmed
  • Tam Svejda: a persistent reporter for the New York Ledger whom Nikki and Rook first encountered in Heat Rises.
  • Helen Miksit: a formidable defense attorney whom Nikki and Rook first encountered in Naked Heat.
  • Steve Liebman: the metro news editor of the New York Ledger and close friend of Tam Svejda.
  • Joanna Masters: an aid worker seriously wounded in Syria and the subject of Tam Svejda's latest article.
  • Yardley Bell: High-flying DHS agent who is an ex-lover of Rook's.
  • Fariq Kuzbari: a security attache with the Syrian embassy in New York.

References to Castle Episodes, Cast, and Crew[edit]

  • In her rookie days, it is said of Nikki, "everything about her - from her lack of bridge-and-tunnel accent to her flawless posture – screamed refinement." In Flowers For Your Grave, Castle says of Beckett: "Well, you're not bridge and tunnel. No trace of the boroughs when you talk."
  • It emerges that Nikki has been at the 20th Precinct for her whole career. This mirrors Beckett, who has been at the 12th Precinct since graduating from the academy.
  • When Nikki asks a suspect about whether he disturbed a crime scene, he says: "I know the cops don't like you to mess with the body. I watch this show on TV. It's got this hot lady cop and her husband, this guy who writes books. It's clever, the solutions they come up with."
  • After jihadists threaten Rook, Nikki lures him into her office to make love, but instead cuffs him to a radiator to keep him safe inside the precinct. In Flowers For Your Grave, Beckett distracts Castle by telling him to get himself a gun out of the glove box, then cuffs him to a grab handle so that he stays in the car.
  • Rook makes a bet with Nikki that if he can get a suspect to talk, she has to dress up like a Vulcan from Star Trek in bed. In The Final Frontier, Beckett also promises Castle some cosplay, but teases him by dressing up as a terrifying Creaver from Nebula 9.
  • Legs Klein's private jet is operated by a company called LokSat Aviation. LokSat is the name of the powerful CIA conspirator in season 8.
  • When Nikki meets Joanna Masters, there is a Michael Connelly novel on the table. Michael Connelly has appeared as himself several times on the show as part of Castle's poker circle.
  • Raley accidentally discharges his gun during a chase, and the bullet ricochets off the pavement and hits Ochoa in the backside. In The Nose, a similar incident happens between Ryan and Esposito, at a time when they are already arguing about going for the sergeant's exam.
  • Nikki, Raley and Ochoa attempt a "fake confession" strategy – bursting into the interrogation of one suspect acting as though another has already confessed – similar to the one successfully carried out by Ryan and Esposito in The Double Down.
  • The Department of Homeland Security stepping in to take over the investigation on the grounds of terrorism is similar to what happens in in Setup and Countdown after evidence of the dirty bomb is discovered
  • The crematorium involved in Nikki's mother's funeral arrangements is the Demming Crematorium, named after 12th Precinct robbery detective Tom Demming.
  • Nikki sits down to play a Billy Joel song, New York State of Mind, on her mother's piano. At the end of Last Call, Castle, Beckett and the gang all sing a version of Billy Joel's Piano Man.
  • The death of Carey Maggs in prison, and the disappearance of Bart Callan after being downgraded from maximum security, although separate incidents, have certain echoes of Lockwood's escape and murdering of Raglan in Knockout.
  • When discussing types of poker players, the book refers to "professional liars like James Patterson". James Patterson is one of the real-life authors seen on the show in Castle's poker circle.
  • At one point, Nikki says to Rook: 'You know, you are so hot when you're solving crimes'. In the Season 4 bloopers, Stana, as Beckett, ad-libs the line 'You're so hot when you help me solve things!' at the end of a scene with Castle

References in episodes[edit]

  • In And Justice for All, Castle is seen struggling with writer's block for his (then untitled) new Nikki Heat book. Beckett suggests he go to the PI office for inspiration, but while there he sees the inspirational headline "Murdered Man Found in Pit of Deadly Snakes' - the case Beckett is investigating.

New York Times Bestseller[edit]

  • N/A

Online Chapters[edit]

The Hollywood Reporter has released an excerpt of the first chapter of High Heat online

Pre Order[edit]

Previous Nikki Heat novel: Driving Heat ~ Next Nikki Heat novel: Heat Storm